Productive urban landscapes as a response to intense urbanisation in Peru
We are pleased to share the Masters’ thesis project Lima 4.0: Territorial fragility as an agent of agricultural innovation by Alkisti Volonasis and Romila Faye Strub who recently graduated from Politecnico di Milano’s MSc in Architecture. Alkisti contacted us about a month ago, and since then we have exchanged several emails about their design research project which took inspiration from the Continuous Productive Urban Landscape concept to achieve a highly-commended proposal.
Alkisti and Romila write:
‘Lima’s intense and rapid urbanisation has reduced its agricultural land from 600 km2 in the early 20th century to only 125 km2 today. This continuing expansion is threatening the Lurin Valley, an area of important natural and patrimonial heritage located at the southern edge of the city. With this in mind, the thesis project Lima 4.0 researches solutions to protect the valley from the threats of urbanisation while strengthening the value of its agricultural landscape in the context of contemporary society. Considering the fragility of the area as something that embodies not only destruction but also regeneration, the project assumes it as a relevant factor for innovation and the development of transformative architectural solutions that may reactivate the strong role that agri-culture has had throughout Peruvian history.
The project inserts itself as a buffer zone along the main road to help preventing future urbanisation. In keeping with the idea of protecting the land, the project inverts the approach that is often adopted nowadays of removing the original landscape and adding greenery on facades and roofs. Instead, it takes on a layered approach composed of the existing natural environment of the valley (Intichakra) and a new elevated built environment (Yachay). The two layers dialogue with one another via a series of ramps and devices located at strategic points throughout the site allowing for connections between above and below. Three separate yet co-dependent buildings are introduced with complementary functions that form a circular system related to food education, production and consumption. Through these interventions, the project creates a new centrality in the city, a recreational district dedicated to the important agricultural heritage of the area’.
The thoroughly researched and nicely presented project uses this thought as a guiding citation: ‘When we imagine a desirable future, we see more experience with less consumption (Viljoen and Bohn)’.
For more information on Lima 4.0 see this blog’s Related projects section.
For Bohn&Viljoen’s Continuous Productive Urban Landscape concept see here.
Image: Elevated light-weight bridges allow for flowing agricultural landscape and unhindered production as well for unexpected views. (source: Alkisti Volonasis and Romila Faye Strub 2020)